Maikel Colón Pichardo

Maikel Colón Pichardo

A runaway climber in the mountains of the academy and social activism

Bob Marley once said: “wars will go on as long as the color of the skin continues to be more important than the eyes”. Such subliminal phrase synthesizes the work and personality of Tomas Fernandez Robaina, Tomasito, a 70-year old man many consider the academician in town and who has been working at the Jose Marti National Library for more than half a century (51 years): “moving rocks and trash away–doing some work– this little happy man is always turning dirt in gold”. He is the author of a considerable number of books on the social history of black people in Cuba and has also tackled different topics on popular religiousness and already holds three literary testimonies. He is multifaceted as to the topics he writes about and hedaily leaves home in the municipality of Cerro in Havana to make a living. In an exclusive interview for OnCuba, he agreed to share some of his countless experiences. What’s your assessment on the current state of the topics you have defended in your books, talks and courses? There has been a lot of progress, now there are more spaces for discussing subjects that were not mentioned before, particularly on the racial...

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